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1st XV - Match centre

Orrell
Heaton Moor RUFC
Sat 14 Oct 14:30 - Cup Full time

Moor travelled away not too far up the M6 motorway to Orrell

Quarter Final, Lancashire Plate

Moor travelled away not too far up the M6 motorway to Orrell for this ¼ final Lancashire plate game. Played at their ground whose name has links to the writer of this column ?.

It was a fine sunny day with a light breeze which saw Moor field a side with many positional and personnel changes from recent matches so the team and coach Mark Edwards had a tough day in store.

It would be a great learning curve for Moor as we play them again on November 25th in a League fixture at their ground, we hoped history would not repeat itself as the last time we played them there in 1985/6 we came away 68-6 losers in the old Girobank league. In fact the last time we beat Orrell was in 1974/5 at our 75th anniversary season when we won 20-11 on a cold Easter Monday also at their ground.

Captain Chris Ogden Smith played at fly half for injured Danny Childe who has had a bone graft operation on this wrist and he predicted the game would hinge on the half back operation. Maz Kondrationicz came into scrum half to replace Danny Childe.

Within 2 mins of the kick off Orrell showed their driving sense and direct running but were stopped close to the line by Moor defence, this did not deter Orrell whose scrum half headed for the Moor line , passed the ball out for a score virtually under the sticks. The ensuing conversion was missed and after 4 mins Orrell were 5-0 ahead.

Scrum infringements by Orrell took Moor into Orrells half for the first occasion and a further penalty saw Olly Reynolds step up to the mark and Moor were now just 5-3 down

Moor continued to play for a while in the opponents half and Orrell were not only penalised for diving over in the loose but then a swinging arm gave Moor another penalty , however Olly Reynolds just pulled this wide of the sticks,

Orrell continued with fast breaks from their backs but after a tap penalty Moor again cleared their lines

Pecks Joseph always looked dangerous when given a bit of open space and his linking up with full back Matt Hughes and vice versa gave Orrell some worrying moments. Moor gained a kickable penalty from one of these breaks but chose the scrum option which saw no points increase. Orrell missed a penalty kick before Chris Ogden Smith made a great break, linked with Maz who passed to Olly Reynolds who crossed the line and put the ball down for an easy conversion of his own try as Moor went to half time 10-5 in the lead.

The second half saw Moor play with the wind at their backs and with good set piece play by Moor the ball was passed the full width of the pitch out to Pecks Joseh who was just stopped inside their 22.After 17 mins of the second half repeated forward pressure on the Orrell line saw hooker James Brennan go over converted by Olly Reynolds which gave Moor a comfortable 17-5 margin.

( Or so we all thought....even President Tommy Whelan was heard to say its in the bag now or certainly something to that effect ). After losing a line out Moor lost at least 70 metres for the Orrell number 12 to break through the line, their number 11 converted and after only 16 mins of the second half the score was now 17-12 to Moor. Strong pressure by Orrell who would just not give up saw them rewarded with yet another converted try putting them in the lead by 19-17. The Moor alicadoos were not happy at all with this as for long periods we had played extremely well. The prayers from the writer of this column to the college's namesake then worked as with 14 mins to go playing on the ground by Orrell gave Moor a penalty kicked by Olly Reynolds to put Moor 20-19 in front. It was now baton down the hatches time after strong defence by Moor and with a minute to go a cardinal sin ( see Saint John Rigby ) of a hand in the scrum by Moor gave Orrell a very kickable penalty into the wind which was just pulled wide.

Victory to Moor in a well contested match.

Next week Moor are at home to Congleton

John E Rigby

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